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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 3080 ..

Mental Illness

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, during question time last week Mr Rugendyke asked me a question relating to Annabelle's care for four to 13 mental health patients under the Work Resources Centre. He asked whether it was the same Annabelle's as the Annabelle's in the Yellow Pages which provides a pet grooming and wheelie bin service, how much of the grant to the Work Resources Centre went to Annabelle's, how the money was acquitted by the Government and whether it was appropriate that a business which walks your dog and services wheelie bins should have responsibility to care for mentally ill patients in the ACT. At the time I said that I do not mind how businesses structure themselves, but I have a prepared answer. I table the answer and seek leave to have it incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

Document incorporated at Appendix 3.

Police - Patrol Cars

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I took a question on notice yesterday from Mr Hargreaves concerning a newspaper report of a slow response by the Federal Police to a reported incident on Sunday afternoon. He was referring to an item in the Macklin column in the Canberra Times which stated that on a particular day at 6.00 pm there were only two patrol cars on patrol in North Canberra. The incident concerned took place in Woden, so I am not quite sure why North Canberra is relevant. In any case, I was asked how many cars are available for general response in Belconnen, Gungahlin, Weston Creek, Tuggeranong and Kambah. I am not quite sure why Kambah is separate from Tuggeranong, but anyway - - -

Mr Hargreaves: No, it was not Kambah; it was Central Canberra.

MR HUMPHRIES: Central Canberra, okay. The column by Mr Macklin reported that there were only two patrol cars available in the whole of Canberra. He was somewhat out. In fact, there were 22 cars available in the whole of Canberra at that time; that is, 22 patrols with either one or two members were available to go out in a car or some other means of transport to a scene where a particular incident was taking place. Mr Speaker, this is not the first time that Mr Macklin has reported incidents concerning the police, police resources, the speed of police cars and all sorts of issues fairly inaccurately. I think I need to put on the record that those sorts of quite inaccurate and completely unchecked assertions about the Australian Federal Police, apart from being a misleading of the public, are a disservice to the people who provide those policing services to this Territory, often in very difficult circumstances. Through Hansard I would urge Mr Macklin to reconsider this sort of approach, because it really does his newspaper no service and does the people of Canberra no service either.

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